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one last day

March 25, 2009

Day 12 – Saying Goodbye

We hadn’t planned anything for our last day in Rome. I knew that throughout our time there we would discover things that we had missed, or sites that deserved a second visit. I was glad we planned it that way. We decided to use part of the day to do a couple walking tours that we found in our Rome guide book. The first was a tour of the Aventine and the second went through Trastevere and the Janiculum – all places we had not had a chance to visit yet.

orangeThe Aventine tour brought us to the back side of the Forum, where we could also see the Circus Maximus. It was pretty neat. I actually thought the Forum was much more impressive from the back. Then we walked through some old neighborhoods and into a few more churches. One of the churches had an orange grove, and since we were in a primarily residential area, far from the street vendors and cafes, we decided to indulge. I picked one orange and it smelled heavenly. As I peeled it, it smelled even better. I gave Eric the first bite… I thought he was going to die. The face he made was very much like the one my two year old makes when he eats the lemon from my tea. But naturally, I couldn’t NOT taste the Roman orange, just because he made a bad face. So I did. Apparently I made the same hideous face because Eric immediately started laughing hysterically. Then I thought I was going to die because while I was laughing I inhaled the excruciatingly sour orange juice. I was coughing for about 10 minutes while we walked past some guards with machine guns. I have no idea what they were guarding, but they looked pretty serious about it. I tried to look as inconspicuous as possible since I had just stolen a really bad orange from a church.

We finally found some real food near the Metro station and decided to put an end to our Aventine tour. We walked from there across the river to Trastevere – a part of Rome much more like what you see in movies, much more like Florence and Siena. We didn’t have a lot of time to spend there, but what we saw was lovely. Definitely worth a longer visit. We stopped in a piazza – Santa Maria, I think, and rested by the fountain for a hard-waylittle while discussing our agenda. We compared our map to the route the guide book suggested and decided to take a “short cut” to get to the Janiculum – a big park-like hill/neighborhood overlooking the rest of Rome. Well, we never found the street that was supposed to take us straight there. Instead we wandered. And wandered. And climbed the biggest set of stairs I’ve ever seen. And then walked uphill for a very long time. And then turned on the wrong street. And a long time later, finally found the Janiculum. There was indeed a beautiful view of the city. We stopped there for a long time. Eric actually took a brief nap on a bench while I stared at the map, trying to figure out how we could get back without walking another 2 hours.

easy-path

We decided that the best approach was to take the route suggested by the guide. It seemed fairly direct to where we wanted to be – back in the middle of the city near all the piazzas we had come to know so well. We started walking down the hill and it quickly became apparent why the guide had suggested this route. The view walking down the hill was almost as good as the view at the top, and on the way down we found a staircase that eliminated the need to walk along the miles of switchback roads. We were back to familiar territory within 15 minutes. Live and learn, I guess.

We ended our stay in Rome the same way we began it, with a dinner in the Piazza della Rotunda outside the Pantheon. Afterward we stopped to buy some candy for the kids and one last gelato for us before climbing  into the shuttle for the last time.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 29, 2009 6:16 pm

    oh what fun adventures!!! am ever so jealous, but happy for such fun times for you & eric! 🙂

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